Fear of crowds

Fear of crowds is very common for a lot of people whether they are single, married, male, female, high flyers, students, teachers, old or young .

I know how it feels to be alone in a crowd. I often feel totally overwhelmed in a large crowd of people, especially if I don’t know anyone in that crowd. It can feel like I am on the periphery and not allowed into the inner circle, and that, of course, makes the fear even worse. I wonder if the fear is actually of the crowds themselves or is it a fear of feeling lost or being unnoticed amongst a large number of people?

I know when I am in a large crowd of people entirely ‘on my own’ I feel nervous; I have an irrational fear that nobody will even notice that I am there.  I look at the little groups of people who do know each other within that large crowd enjoying themselves and the company of each other and that somehow increases my nervousness and the fear.  Of course they may feel just like I do but when I feel that fear, it certainly looks like they’re having a great time and I’m not. When I am in a large crowd of people and I have my own ‘group of people’ with me I feel safe and secure and know that I am noticed and therefore I don’t have those same feelings as when I am alone in a crowd.

Business people communicating with each other against white

Did you grow up in a house where “children were seen and not heard”? I know I did. That might be the root of these feelings of nervousness and insecurity as they are for me. I can ultimately relate feeling like this to my childhood when I was constantly told that I should be seen and not heard.  So I would sit in the corner with my toys and only speak when I was spoken to.

Having worked hard on discovering my authentic self, discovering, acknowledging and accepting those unexpressed feelings and emotions of when I was told to be seen and not heard,  I now think and act differently.  I know there is a solution to this fear of crowds.  Based on what I know to be true about fear.  I know that FEAR is:

False

Expectations

Appearing

Real

I have found the solution that works for me and this might work for you too:

  • Don’t worry about pleasing anyone else. Just be you.
  • Here’s what I do – I take three deep breaths and take the plunge.
  • I walk amongst the strangers in the crowd and I expect to be noticed. I’ve decided not to expect to be or feel lost.
  • I make eye contact with people and smile at them.
  • I say hello to people I have never met before and strike up conversations.  They aren’t always long conversations, just long enough to introduce myself and be friendly and to listen to the other people.  Sometimes they are much longer, it depends on the person of course. Once the conversations start to happen, other people start to talk to me and to each other and before long I am part of the ‘crowd’ and not isolated on the periphery.

Even if being you just says it’s ok to not talk to anyone – which is a good friend of mine’s solution for her fear of crowds.  She’s decided to not push herself and just enjoys watching people. Funny thing is, she reports people come and talk to her.

New for 2013. From confusion to clarity – Becoming ME again

I know that I am not alone in feeling alone.  There are other people who are in the same position as me and I make a special effort to speak to them as well and include them in the conversations.  The energy and dynamics of the crowd change visibly and it becomes much more enjoyable.

The most important thing is to find a way to feel comfortable being you whether you decide overcoming the fear by talking to people is your way, or overcoming the fear by giving yourself a break and just allowing others to talk to you is your way. Bottom line, stop pressuring yourself to be like everyone else and just be you.

If you anything resonates with you from the above, I will be delighted to hear from you, please contact me .

I am helping people to become the very best version of themselves and would love to work with you too.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Professional Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

Reducing feelings of overwhelm

Have you ever looked at your ‘To Do’ list and thought that your head would explode?  The list is so long it covers at least two sheets of paper and you are in a state where you are not functioning because your brain has decided that it can’t cope and is turning you into a gibbering wreck.

I know I have been in that position, and it doesn’t feel very good at all.  In fact, all I wanted to do was rip up the list and go on holiday.

But there are tips I can share with you so that you can reduce your feelings of overwhelm and actually move forward with your life without feeling like a huge failure, which you are not.

to do list

The very first thing to do is to stop, breathe and look at the big picture.  Get up from whatever it is you are doing, break your state of mind.  Go for a walk, play a game of golf, go to an exercise class.  What you do doesn’t matter, changing what you are doing does.

Have a little chat with yourself.  Tell yourself it is perfectly normal to be feeling overwhelmed but this is only a passing thing.  This time is not great, so what! That’s life.  This state of mind is not interminable, it is just your current state.  Very soon you will be back to your normal self and getting so much more done than you can today.

Write down everything you have to do in great detail.  Everything, including the dripping tap in the kitchen, the shopping – everything that is competing for your attention.

Once you have done that and can see your enormous list of tasks, put on your ‘Best Friend’ hat.  Imagine you are your own best friend.  What would you advise your best friend to cross off, delegate, delay or put to the top of the list? Cross off those things that you know have been on your list for weeks and are very unlikely to get done.  If they have been on the list for that long, do they really need doing?

tips

Focus on the bigger picture.  What is your intention behind any task? Is the task getting you closer to or further away from your intention?  Ditch, delegate, delay or change the task accordingly.

Look at the stuff that is left on your list now, what can you give to someone else to do? A staff member, a friend, a family member?  Of course they probably won’t do it as well as you, but currently you aren’t doing anything. So ask for help.

What tasks can you ditch? Which tasks can you delay? Which tasks must be done today?

Your list will be much shorter now, more easily managed.  Prioritise, give each task a grade.  A = has to happen today. B = Brilliant if I could get it done today, but not essential.  C = We’ll see if we get to it today.

Now make yourself a cup of tea/coffee.  Self explanatory.

It’s time to start with

  • A1. Do it, must be done today.
  • A2. Do it, would like it done today.
  • A3 Do it if you can today, if not add it to your to do list for tomorrow.

Tick each one off as you accomplish them and celebrate.  Give yourself  acknowledgement and accolades for as long as you can maintain your state. You have reduced you feelings of overwhelm.

It is then crucial after your emotionally challenging day that you take time to unwind.  A bath, a film, a meal.  Whatever it takes to get you to a place where you will sleep well.  It’s not about time management, it’s about energy management, so your small investment at the end of a big day pays huge dividends for the rest of the week.

f you need help with any of the above, I will be delighted to hear from you, please contact me .

I am helping people to become the very best version of themselves and would love to work with you too.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Professional Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk